Father who lunged at teen bully speaks out

IT TOOK just one second for a father to see red, lunge at a 14-year-old who had been bullying his daughter and choke him.

The incredible moment in a Brisbane skatepark last month was captured on film and Mark David Bladen, a firefighter, was sentenced to pay $1000 with no conviction after the clip went viral.

Now the 53-year-old has spoken out about the incident and the final taunt which caused him to lose it at the teen boy.

He told 60 Minutes he was just giving the boy a "good old fashioned talking to" when the boy smiled at him, making the father's blood boil.

Mark Bladen was sentenced to pay $1000 for the attack. Picture: Channel Nine
Mark Bladen was sentenced to pay $1000 for the attack. Picture: Channel Nine

"Dr Jekyll came out," he told the show as he described how his daughter was relentlessly bullied by his victim.

His daughter added that the child who was chocked in the video had relentlessly bullied her by calling her names and giving her insulting gifts.

"(He) called me names like gorilla and King Kong, he would buy me shaving cream for Christmas so that I would shave," she told the show.

The video shows Bladen yelling and pointing at the boy before allegedly walking over and grabbing his neck, appearing to strangle him.

Bladen then pushes the boy off the ledge he is sitting on before the 14-year-old lashes out and hits the man in the chest.

As the incident begins to escalate, the teen's friends jump in, yelling "Get the f**k off him, get off him!"

Bladen, the alleged bully and his friends are then seen tussling as they attempt to get the man off the boy.

Bladen’s daughter says she was relentlessly bullied. Picture: Channel Nine
Bladen’s daughter says she was relentlessly bullied. Picture: Channel Nine

The father then grabs the boy's leg and attempts to drag him along the ground.

A flurry of air-punches is then thrown from the man towards the boy before they are separated for a second time.

Bladen pleaded guilty in Brisbane Magistrates Court on March 20 to one count of assault occasioning bodily harm at a skate park at The Gap, in Brisbane's west, on March 3.

He was sentenced to pay $1000 with no conviction recorded after the court heard he had an exemplary history, including a commendation for his work in Rockhampton in February 2015 following Cyclone Marcia.

Bladen told police he just ‘snapped’. Picture: AAP Image/Dan Peled
Bladen told police he just ‘snapped’. Picture: AAP Image/Dan Peled

The court heard he told police he just "snapped" when he attacked the 14-year-old boy, who he claims had been bullying his stepdaughter for months so she was too scared to go to school.

The 60 Minutes episode - which airs on Sunday evening - shows how Bladen is seen as a hero at his local pub because he stood up for his family.

However, Bladen had a message for any would-be parent vigilantes shortly after he was arrested: "Just don't do it".

The boy suffered bruising to his throat and scratches to his limbs.

Bladen later told police he was "aghast" at his behaviour, and he apologised outside court to the victim.

"I'm very sorry for what I did, very regretful and ashamed," he said. "Please don't do what I did, I just lost control. It's definitely not the way to handle things."



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